The risk of a no-deal Brexit has been averted, temporarily, as the UK has been granted an extension to the process of leaving the EU, which is now set as the 31st October 2019.
Welcoming this decision, Brexit Health Alliance co-chair and Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, Niall Dickson said:
“no-deal … would have been bad for patients so it is a relief that threat has gone away, for now. But of course the extension leaves that as one potential outcome which means everyone involved in healthcare must continue to prepare for this possibility and keep contingency plans in place.”
With the extension of the Brexit deadline, it is unclear where this leaves the contingency efforts already made by the Government and the healthcare community. MAP has previously reported on medicines stockpiling as part of these contingency plans as recommended by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Significant stockpiling is already in place, and companies are now left with little certainty as to how much longer they must maintain these extra supplies.
As MAP has previously reported, the impact of Brexit will not just affect the UK market, with an ongoing short-term impact as a result of the EMA’s move to Amsterdam and need to replace lost UK staff. The continuing lack of certainty also raises questions about the details of the implementation of new regulatory processes for the UK post-Brexit. The UK Government has yet to update the guidance on regulations of medicines, medical devices and clinical trials. The latest guidance can be found here.
MAP will continue to monitor and report on further Brexit updates when information becomes available.